Climbing Etiquette and French Canadians
I headed up to Rumney for a couple of days to get some climbing in. Faye and I got there Saturday night and started fairly early on Sunday morning. We figured we’d hike most of the way up, and hit Jimmy Cliff. Our reasoning was that the further we went, the less likely it was that other people would be there. Apparently everyone had the same exact idea. When we got to Jimmy Cliff the left end was pretty busy, so we started at the right end and climbed Nuthatch, a 5.7 chimney. I don’t know what it is about chimneys, but they terrify me. Maybe it’s because I’m claustrophobic. But I just freeze up in them. Eventually I tell myself it’s no big deal and move on, but it’s hard for me to do. After that, I cruised up Hammond Organ (5.10d) right next to it. OK, so I one hung it. But still, I found it waaay easier than that chimney. Then I got to onsight the great The Junco (5.8+) and the New England classic Lonesome Dove (5.10a).
After lunch the left end of Jimmy Cliff was still super busy, so we decided to hike up to Crow’s Nest. So, here’s where I started to get heated. We get there, and it’s just as busy Jimmy Cliff was. But on two routes that we wanted to climb, there were topropes set up, with no one close to them. I see a group of people sitting around, eating lunch, and I ask them if that’s their rope set up. Of course it is, so I ask if it’s OK if I climb it. They say yes, but they want to top rope it after. In my head, I’m screaming, “WHY AREN’T YOU TOPROPING IT NOW, THEN!?” So I tell them I’ll trail their rope back up or something. We get over there, and I’m looking at it, and just decide that I don’t want to be bothered doing that. So I leave it, and we get on the only other open route there, which is the 5.6 Little Mermaid. By the time we’re done they’re finally getting on their routes, and they have a bunch of people lined up to do them. Now there’s an open 5.11a right next to this group, and I figure I’d give it a burn. So what happens? Of course the crux is at the bottom, and I can’t make the first move. And all of these French assholes are within punching distance. I decide to do the only thing a reasonable American would do, and I take off my climbing harness and whip it down the hill. My shoes follow close behind. My poor girlfriend, she’s so fucking good to me, she packs up all of my shit, the rope, and says, “Do you want to call it a day?” Of course I do. And I try not to stereotype, but stereotypes exist for a reason. I have never met a cool French Canadian. And Rumney is teeming with these pricks. If they’re not clogging up routes they’re walking down this tiny country road, six people abreast. But it’s OK for me to complain about them, because I’m a quarter French Canadian. Kind of like how black people can use the N word.
So I left the cliffs in a pretty bad mood, but it was nothing a six pack and a trip to the Common Man couldn’t fix. The downside was that I was fairly hungover Monday. So I couldn’t get super stoked to climb anything too difficult. Again for some dumb reason, I started my day in a chimney. Same thing, paralyzed. I finally pushed through it, and realized it’s not that bad. I just need to stop thinking and move. But we had fun on a bunch of easy stuff on Parking Lot Wall and the Meadows. The hardest thing I got on all day was Egg McMeadow (5.10a). And then I sliced my finger open on Mr Popular (another 5.10a) and was pretty much checked out from there. We made a few more climbs and then Tim taught me about building anchors on multi pitch climbs. The view from the top of Jimmy Cliff is really just amazing, and I wish I had been able to take some pictures. But I’m sure that won’t be the last time I climb Clip A Dee Doo Da this year.
Tim and I capped off the day at Lucky Dog in Plymouth. It was microbrew Monday. Two dollar microbrews. You can’t afford not to. I had a delicious, organic unfiltered wheat from Switchback, out of Burlington VT. It was fantastic, and the food was excellent as well. Next time you need a place to go after a day of climbing, be sure to check them out.